Category Archives: Editorials

Opinions, rants and assorted proclamations.

Blogs We Like…

There are well over 16,000 food blogs and even more food related sites on the web. It is impossible to wade through them all, but for various reasons we manage to stumble on a few that we use regularly for recipes and inspiration. Here are a few favorites:

Closet Cooking: Kevin is a Toronto based Blogger. I find his recipes are almost always keepers and quite original.  Often cooks up a batch of something and then turns it into several inspired meals. Good pictures. Our keepers include Greek Baked Shrimp with Feta and Garlic, Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup, Mushroom Risotto, and Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Alfredo Pasta. Looking forward to trying Pumpkin Shrimp Bisque.

Pioneer Woman: This blog is not purely about food. Ree blogs about ranch life, children and animals, photography, comfort food in a comfortable manner that makes her feel like a friend. Ree’s brisket recipe is melt-in-your-mouth-to-die-for.

Passover 17

Homesick Texan: A Texan living in NYC. Great recipes, lotsa spice. Two of our particular favorites are Hatch Chili Apple Cobbler (note that Hatch chilies are not available in Ottawa but roasted poblanos or canned green chillies work well) and Red Chili Seafood Chowder. Look forward to trying her Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Tomato Bacon Pie and Green Chili Cheese Steak.

Serious Eats: Not a blog but a foodie site. Great recipes, hot topics regarding food, great restaurant and eating out guide for traveling in the States. I found a keeper recipe for Shrimp Puttanesca here (and posted a blog entry when we put it on pizza) and can’t wait to try Tamarind Rice, Blackened Salmon with Coconut Couscous, Moroccan Baked Scallops and Shrimp Enchiladas with Roasted Poblano Sauce.

Pasta Sauce Reborn 10

The Kitchn: Features kitchens and recipes. This site often provides you with a handy slideshow and recipes for a theme such as 15 weekday chicken recipes or the like. I usually find one hit in a collection. Penne with Vodka Sauce, Hallumi Salad, Crawfish Dip, Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyere and Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef of some examples of what they feature.

Coconut and Lime: Rachel writes from Baltimore. Her blog is inspired and all recipes are her own creations. Originals that grab my attention are Green Chili Pineapple Chicken Chili, Winter Seafood Salad with Pomegranate and Beets, Beef Chorizo Potato Burritos and Fresh Jalapeno Dip.

Chow: This site is more of a large foodie network. You can post questions, get answers and search for recipes. Great site for finding say a recipe for Steak Diane and getting a few hits and then you can choose the one you think will fit your needs best. We found an excellent recipe here for Corn Chipotle Soup.

Mon Food Blog: Ottawa based. Always a good read. I like it because he posts simple, often intriguing recipes and has been recently inspired by a trip to Italy. Much but not all of his blog features Italian cooking.  He includes his own tweaks and touches and often a little back ground history of a recipe. Great resource if you are looking for something a little different in the Italian arena. Recipes such as Celery Soup, Toasted flour Soup and Onion, Almond and Cinnamon Soup and Turnips with Green Olive Pesto pique my curiosity for sure. Comfort food pasta and sauces abound and the photography is excellent.

White on Rice Couple: Diane and Todd are California based food and lifestyle photographers. Excellent food photography. Pretty Blog. Good reading. Can’t wait to try their beautiful Baked Tomato Breakfast.

Pinterest: I looooove Pinterest because I am always attracted first visually to a recipe. I would more often than not disregard a recipe with no photo. Pinterest is a social network where you post a small profile and begin following people. People will also find and follow you, especially if you pin or repin good stuff. You set up your own boards to pin to for your own use. Mine for instance are mostly but not all food related. When I scan Pinterest and see a recipe that looks good (remember it’s all pictorial) I will pin it to one of my boards. When I wish to make it, I can go back and click on the photo and it will bring me to the blog or page on the web where the recipe resides. It is a wonderful resource for recipes that are tried and true by other “pinners”, especially vegetarian recipes. Pinterest eliminates the need to save magazines or bookmark pages. All of your recipes are stored as pictures in file folders named by you. One click away. Pinterest will also lead you to other food blogs that interest you. Great resource for special needs eaters like diabetics, vegans and celiacs.































When I was a kid, the ice cream freezer at our local supermarket held few surprises. The frozen dessert was sold in bricks. Bricks of Strawberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Neapolitan and Spumoni. Tiger Tail and Maple Walnut if you were lucky. All of the other flavours have survived the fight for shelf space dominated by Rolos, Turtles, Tahitian Vanilla, Cookies and Cream, Dulce La Leche, Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey…except for Spumoni. Spumoni, that sweet, creamy, decadent combo of pistachio, cherry and chocolate ice creams studded with bits of cherry and candied fruit, lives on only in old school, classic Italian eateries.

I was reminded of this recently while dining in Ottawa at the Trattoria Italia Caffe on Preston. I spied Spumoni gelato on their dessert menu and had to have it. Trattoria’s Spumoni is sublime, dished up large in an old fashioned, fluted ice cream bowl.  I have been thinking about it ever since. I asked our waitress where Trattoria gets their Spumoni and was told, “Montreal”. She gets asked this all the time she said shaking her head and laughing at how strange the interest was. Not really, since she was maybe a day over 19. Oddly, November 13th is National Spumoni Day in Canada. I had never heard of that as most of my friends have never heard of Spumoni ice cream. A shame.



We’re back – Sort of.

Man, where did the time go?

We took some time off due to prepare for the wedding of our youngest daughter, Hannah. It was a wonderful affair on the single most rainy day of 2012. We had a terrific “plan B” and by all accounts it was a huge success (because, by all accounts, Hannah and Mike are still married).

Of course, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. We lost a dear brother-in-law in October and we just were not ready to make a comeback quite yet.

Also in October, we gained a new family member. This one’s all fur and tongue and tail and irrepressible cuteness. Meet Josie.


She’s an English Shepherd/Golden Labrador mix and is now just about 11 weeks old. Maureen and I are adjusting to being puppy parents. Josie’s training us well and we are slowly catching on. She has doubled in size in the 3 weeks we’ve had her. Our cats have resigned themselves to her presence and the ice melts a little more each day.

We were going to make some minor changes to the site design and that may still happen, so pardon our dust if you see some work in progress.

Stay tuned for new posts!

We’re taking a break.

We’re taking a break until later in September, to do some much-needed site redesign work as well as to restore our Happy Mouth Classic pages. As well, our youngest daughter is getting married and it’ll be a busy time for other things.

Before we go, we’d like to talk how we approach this blog. Once in while, we get accused of being overly positive about the places we review. So we thought we’d take some time to explain our basic principles.

1. This is a diary…of sorts. We’re writing this to share with readers and followers, but initially we wanted to capture our road trip experiences and memories before they were lost to the mists of time. There’s no charter beyond curating our search for interesting and honest food experiences that we’d enjoy. We hope you enjoy them too.

2. We’re not critics. We have absolutely no responsibility to our readers to visit a place we wouldn’t ordinarily select for our own enjoyment, just to inform you of our opinion. If we don’t think it’s interesting, we won’t go. Who’s got time for eating at places that don’t look like we’d enjoy them? We’re not paid to suffer for our art.

3. Research, research, research. One of the reasons we don’t issue many negative reviews is that we search out places we’d want to visit and eat at. There’s a self-selection process involved. We WANT to eat there, and we chose it because we know we’d like it. It’s not much of a surprise then, that we turned out to like it.

4. If we don’t like it, most often we won’t write about it. (see #3 above). We’re not complainers. Too often, bloggers and review site members turn up the volume on criticism because they have a platform to be negative. We’re not a fan of that approach. We’ve written about places that seemed to have lots of promise and hadn’t met expectations, as well we do mention it if there’s something we don’t like or could be better at restaurants we’ve tried.

See you in the Fall!


Rob and Maureen



Our 200th Post!

Wow. This is our 200th post. Thanks to all who have followed the blog and who have encouraged us with your comments. Thanks to all who’ve been a part of the action by letting us undertake food experiments on you. Thanks to all who follow us on Facebook, and our casual and committed visitors from places like,, Pinterest and elsewhere.

More to come…

Rob and Maureen (and Heather) at Happy Mouth